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What We Do



Surf Life Saving is an organisation that saves and protects life on Australian beaches. Despite the efforts of our trained volunteer surf lifesavers, paid lifeguards and support operations, people continue to drown around our coastline each year.

Volunteer surf lifesavers

The Surf Life Saving movement began in 1907 when volunteer lifesavers began to protect the lives of fellow beachgoers on Bondi Beach, by performing patrols and rescues.

Since this time, volunteer lifesavers have saved more than 615,000 lives.

Our trained surf lifesavers spend more than a 1.4 million hours a year patrolling our beaches, pools and coastlines. Together surf lifesavers and Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) lifeguards rescue around 12,000 people, provide emergency care to 64,000 and give safety advice to more than 900,000 others. And that’s every year.

The red and yellow of our surf lifesavers has been etched into the hearts and minds of all Australians. We watch over you.

Next time you are at the beach, watch out for us. Find the red and yellow flags and always swim between them - remember if surf lifesavers can't see you they can't save you.

Find out how you can become a surf lifesaver

If you'd definitely like to join and become a surf lifesaver, click here.

Visit the Beachsafe website to find patrolled beaches near you.


Surf Life Saving is also one of the largest providers of paid lifeguards in the world.

Through the Australian Lifeguard Service, we employ over 700 lifeguards at over 250 locations across Australia. We deliver professional lifeguard services to local governments, land managers and resorts.

Looking for a career in saving lives? Find out how you can become a paid lifeguard

Rapid response

When it is a case of life or death, time matters. Our lifesavers and lifeguards use a network of support services, including helicopters, jet rescue boats, off shore rescue boats and rescue water crafts to save lives.

Surf Life Saving support services have become a crucial development in surf rescue. Rapid motorised response units, which are on call 24 hours a day, provide another layer of support in keeping our beaches and aquatic environment safe.

For further information on rapid response visit the Members Section on the website.